Objective: One concern with respect to stent procedures performed to treat patients with intracranial lesions is the fate of normal major arterial branches after stents are placed across them. Because most of these lesions occur at vessel bifurcations or at branch points, a normal major branch often arises near the lesion and may be difficult to avoid during stent positioning. The aim of this article is to describe the angiographic outcome of intracranial major branch arteries crossed by a stent in the intracranial circulation.
Methods: We examined the immediate postprocedural cerebral angiograms of the 40 patients who underwent intracranial stenting at the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, between June 1998 and April 2000. In each of 10 patients, the stent was placed across a normal major branch artery. Stents were used to treat aneurysms in seven patients and intracranial stenosis in three patients. The latest cerebral angiogram available was reviewed, and the patency of the major branch arteries was evaluated.
Results: The angiographic follow-up period ranged from 4 days to 35 months (mean follow-up, 10 mo). Each of the 10 major branch arteries was patent. No infarcts were associated with the territory of the major branch arteries crossed by the stents, and no patient experienced a related episode of clinical ischemia. Four patients died as a result of causes unrelated to the stenting procedure. The histology of a middle cerebral artery stent that was placed across a lenticulostriate perforator is presented.
Conclusion: The flexible, low-profile stents used in this study had no angiographically or clinically apparent effect on the major intracranial branches across which they were placed.